The Wonderful Ads of WIRED

I’ve been a reader of WIRED for a decent while, and my current subscription gives me both digital access and physical, dead-tree instances.

I was speeding through my backlog just now and was struck by how many ads there were.

My favorite book on this cocktail is called Spent.

Then, given how much I’ve read about advertising and psychology (and its link to evolutionary biology) I became super curious about the types of ads I was seeing.

The commercials on your favorite show are designed for you, not some fictional other.

Basically, who are these people that read this magazine?

Wait, no—who am I?

Here’s what I found:

  • Arc’Teryx outdoor apparel

  • Onelink smart home tech

  • Google Pixel

  • Lexus

  • GQ

  • Blue Moon

  • SAS analytics

  • Fidelity

  • Dobel Tequila

  • Armani cologne

  • Google Pixel

  • HISCOX business insurance

  • LG Signature washing machines

  • Antica vermouth

  • Natural American Spirit tobacco

  • Geico

Isn’t this just a tech-focused version of GQ?

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  • Zzzquil Stress Less and Sleep

  • Lego

  • The North Face

  • Jim Beam

  • Boss Cologne

  • Bullet Bourbon

  • CB2 Furniture

  • GQ

  • Sotheby’s

  • Seiko


Well, I don’t really have any analysis, other than to acknowledge that advertising speaks truth.

That’s around 26 ads, by the way. It reminded me a lot of reading Cosmo, actually, which I do whenever I come across one.

The ads are the actual content, and the articles are the bait.

Anyway, we of the WIRED demo are evidently into gadgets, alcohol, cologne, and outdoor activities.

Sounds right. GQ should just buy the magazine and call it GQ-Tech.

The question is whether magazines like this create this reality, or simply cater to it. My guess is the latter.

Humans are silly little gene-mechs.


  1. More about gene mechs here and here.

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